Is cash supply management ready for auto-pilot?

By : Cleopatra Mavredis

November 17, 2016 08:00 AM

There are many ways for consumers to manage their financial affairs and make payments these days, but despite the emergence of new technologies like mobile wallets, cash remains an important and popular part of the payments ecosystem. According to the latest World Payments Report from Capgemini and BNP Paribas, cash is set to "remain a significant payment instrument in the near future, even in markets that offer advanced digital payments".


It's therefore extremely important for banks to ensure they continue to focus on effective cash supply management. If you don't have enough cash in your ATMs, you run the risk of outages that could have a negative impact on your customer experience and perceptions of your brand. Overstocking, on the other hand, diverts cash away from other parts of your business that might need or benefit from it.


Making the right software choice is key to driving an efficient cash distribution cycle, but is that all that's required to ensure this aspect of your business is functioning well?


The right software
Cash management software solutions for your ATM network can offer many advantages, one of which is maximum efficiency when it comes to predicting demand at individual cashpoints. Using a combination of mathematical algorithms, past trends and data on factors such as interest rates and events that are likely to impact demand, software solutions can determine the best cash position, delivery schedule and quantity to satisfy demand for each of your ATMs, Branches, Commercial customers and even your own cash centers within your network. These services can also offer additional benefits such as pre-emptive alerts to avoid cash outages while continually managing a balance between cost and customer experience.


Your primary cash management solution can be supported by web-based platforms that provide full access to the system for remote users which aren't directly linked to the bank or ATM operator's network. This makes it much easier to reach informed decisions about ordering and returning cash for every outlet.


It's also possible to use software to reduce costs by optimizing your delivery methods, while organizations such as central banks, depots and cash-in-transit (CiT) firms can deploy cash management solutions to anticipate their future currency needs and keep their vault holdings at the most efficient level.


Beyond software
Given the importance of technology and digital infrastructure throughout the financial services industry today, software clearly has a significant part to play in cash supply management for banks. However, it's also important to be aware of the risks associated with making this a fully automated, software-led process.


Human supervision and insight is still crucial for effective cash management, firstly to choose the right processes for your company's needs and then to ensure that they are functioning effectively and helping you achieve your goals.


It's also important to retain a level of human oversight to monitor certain factors that software might miss, such as unexpected changes in consumer confidence or unforeseen events that have an impact on your cash supply chain. Becoming over-reliant on automated functions could put you at a disadvantage when extraordinary events occur, and it will be the human element of your business that comes to the forefront if your customers need assistance or guidance.


Human decision-making will also prove crucial for other important parts of your cash supply plan, such as selecting the CiT firms and other partners you want to work with. So as important as software is now, and will continue to be in future, it's the effective combination of assets and resources that will create a truly successful cash management strategy.

Cleopatra Mavredis

NCR Europe Self-Service Channel Management

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Cleopatra Mavredis is NCR’s Global Marketing Manager for Channel solutions and has more than 20+ years of experience in the ATM industry. NCR’s channel solution portfolio is comprised of APTRA Vision, Inetco Insight and OptiSuite solutions.